Austerity protests may curb eurozone reform

28 September 2010
"The danger of social protest is real but more subtle," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform think tank. "I don't think it will lead governments to fall, but it is changing the intellectual climate in Europe to make further moves toward market liberalisation less likely, and hence the long-term stability and survival of the euro less likely ... Social protests reflect a shift in the Zeitgeist (mood of the age) that will damage economic efficiency and productivity and lead to slower growth in Europe," Grant said.

EU faces threat to migration principle

28 September 2010
Financial Times
"Free movement is a bit like the euro," warns Hugo Brady, a fellow at the Centre for European Reform, a think tank, recalling the single currency's recent troubles. "It's a thing the EU created and then forgot about, thinking it would never be problematic thereafter. … Free movement is such an accepted part of Europe today that Brussels policymakers don't even think of people relocating from one EU country to another as migration ... But to the man in the street, what the EU calls 'free movement' is in fact intercontinental migration."

How to fix the eurozone

Katinka Barysch
27 September 2010
International Herald Tribune
A recent European Union meeting to review blueprints for better management of the euro got overshadowed by a noisy row over France’s decision to send scores of Roma – or gypsies – back to Bulgaria and Romania.

Britain: Back from the dead

25 September 2010
"One thing you won't find in Britain is European jingoism, the idea that Europe has all the answers," says Simon Tilford, economist at the Centre for European Reform in London.

To cut or not to cut?

22 September 2010
The Wall Street Journal
"They're [the European Commission] acknowledging reality," said Simon Tilford, an economist at the CER. "This really does lend a lie to these claims that somehow fiscal retrenchment will be growth-positive." Mr Tilford and other economists say the commission's argument for austerity is in fact an exercise in magical thinking. Cutting deficits at a time when the economy is expanding strongly and demand for credit is high could help growth, because lower deficits will prevent the government from crowding out private investment.

Why the single currency has dropped off the Lib Dem's agenda

20 September 2010
The Guardian
Simon Tilford, the chief economist at the CER, thinks similarly [current policy and regime in the eurozone is unsustainable]. Another supporter of the idea of a single currency, Tilford published a scathing critique last week of the current state of the eurozone, warning that it could easily break up. Like Flassbeck, Tilford is concerned about the deflationary bias of policy. "The eurozone can only avoid permanent crisis by convincing investors that growth will be strong enough for the hard-hit members of the currency union to service their debts," he said.

Brand new constitution a must for Turkey's EU membership

Katinka Barysch
19 September 2010
Today's Zaman
Deputy Director of the CER, Katinka Barysch, said although the constitutional amendments were mostly an improvement, they were not enough to turn Turkey into a fully functioning democracy. "For that Turkey will indeed need a new constitution, one that rests on a broad social and political consensus. And it needs effective, impartial implementation of its constitution and laws. This is still a long process," she said...

Dispute grows over France's removal of Roma camps

16 September 2010
New York Times
When the laws on free movement were conceived, "it was assumed that this would be about highly qualified, multi-lingual, economically mobile work force moving across borders — not about Roma," said Hugo Brady, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform. It is tempting for politicians like Mr Sarkozy, whose fortunes are flagging, to play the immigrant card, but that also risks raising public passions, Mr Brady said, possibly undercutting support for European institutions among a public that is already skeptical about integration.

Ministers seek to amplify Europe's voice on global stage

15 September 2010
New York Times
"We have to recognise that we have less credibility than we did a few years ago as a global player," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a research institute in London. "Nobody sees us as a rising power. The eurozone crisis damaged us as a soft power, as has our over-representation in international bodies. Military spending cuts reduce our credibility."...Mr Grant argues that the Union's influence is partly dependent on its economic health and that resolving the eurozone crisis is an essential.

Demanding value from universities

13 September 2010
New York Times
A 2006 report [The future of European universities] by the Centre for European Reform, encouraged European universities to become more competitive, more entrepreneurial and, although it did not say so explicitly, more American. The authors stated that tuition in Europe is a must, but they also recommended paying faculty on the basis of merit; lobbying aggressively with state and private funding sources, like alumni; and developing alliances with corporate benefactors.

A weakened Russia seeks European ties

10 September 2010
The Wall Street Journal
"Russia's world view focuses more on power than on rules," which largely guide the EU's behaviour, Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform said.

Can Russia be great?

Katinka Barysch
08 September 2010
Project Syndicate
But, as Katinka Barysch of the Centre for European Reform argues, Russian leaders' concept of modernisation is overly statist, particularly given that public institutions function so badly. "An innovative economy needs open markets, venture capital, free thinking entrepreneurs, fast bankruptcy courts and solid protection of intellectual property," she argues. Instead there are "wide-spread monopolies, ubiquitous corruption, stifling state interferences, weak and contradictory laws."

Economic crisis triggers loss of trust in members of EU

04 September 2010
The Times
Hugo Brady, of the Centre for European Reform, said: "I have never known the EU not to be in some kind of crisis but trust in politicians is extremely low and it is probably coming home to people that Europe is in decline."

The strategic consequences of the euro crisis

01 September 2010
Europe's world
The euro crisis will be with us for many years. The underlying causes, such as southern Europe's lack of competitiveness, cannot be remedied overnight; Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain face years of low growth, severe curbs on public spending and perhaps social unrest.

Can Montenegro shake off crime hub image?

31 August 2010
"The rules for membership are now being applied more strictly, with greater attention to detail," says Charles Grant, from the Centre for European Reform. "But there is a risk of a vicious cycle whereby without the beacon of EU membership modernisers start losing out to conservatives."

The euro's success requires liberalisation

Philip Whyte
26 August 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Critics of the euro zone have long claimed that it suffers from structural flaws that threaten its long-term survival. The Greek sovereign-debt crisis has done much to vindicate these misgivings.

Kosovo independence ruling watched around the world

Tomas Valasek
25 August 2010
Voice of America
"Basically, what the court's ruling means is whether secession is legal or not, is largely a political question. It comes down to whether enough countries recognise the entity that has seceded," said Valasek with the Centre for European Reform in London.

The downsides of German growth

18 August 2010
The Prague Post
"It is wrong to argue that Germany is the growth engine of the European economy, which is what we have seen argued in recent days," said Simon Tilford, chief economist with the Centre for European Reform.. "It is right to argue that it is a drag." This year's German trade surplus topped $ 77 billion through May, about 60 percent of that occurring within Europe.

Cameron's first 100 days

Philip Whyte
17 August 2010
"The question," Whyte says, "is whether this is the calm before the storm". Two ominous-looking clouds are gathering on the horizon: financial regulation and the EU budget... London is the largest financial centre in Europe. So ministers face a "difficult balancing act", according to Whyte, in which they want to clamp down on banks while avoiding damaging London's competitiveness. The hedge funds directive was a case in point. Then, Osborne accepted defeat. It may not always end the same way.

Der Härtetest kommt erst noch

Philip Whyte
16 August 2010
Deutschlands Wachstum im zweiten Quartal war außergewöhnlich. Das Wachstumstempo beizubehalten wird aber sehr schwierig, sagt Philip Whyte, vom Londoner Think-Tank Centre for European Reform.